Treaty a step closer for state

A TREATY in Victoria would ensure Aboriginals have the chance to help shape future plans for the state, according to Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher.

“The main focus will be to work in partnership with the government,” Ms Gallagher said.

EXCITING TIME: Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher is updating south-west residents on plans for Australia's first treaty. Picture: Supplied

EXCITING TIME: Victorian Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher is updating south-west residents on plans for Australia's first treaty. Picture: Supplied

“It will allow Aboriginals to have more of a say.”

Ms Gallagher said the Advancing the Treaty Process with Aboriginal Victorians Bill 2018 had its second reading on March 28.

“It’s a very exciting time,” she said.

The treaty working party is now formulating plans to create an Aboriginal Representative Body.

“This legislation is another step toward a treaty that delivers substantive changes on the ground for Aboriginal Victorians,” Ms Gallagher said.

“Treaty will enable all of the Victorian community to celebrate the oldest living cultures in the world.”

Ms Gallagher said a treaty would allow Aboriginals to share the riches of their cultures.

“I think the exciting part for me is if we are successful, Aboriginal people can give a gift to all Victorians,” Ms Gallagher said.

She said the Bill was the culmination of the work of more than 7500 Aboriginal community members who have been engaged to work with the government to progress treaty over the past two years.

The Bill is the first ever piece of treaty legislation in Australia.

South-west residents have the opportunity to learn more about the treaty at a series of meetings this week.

  • Wednesday: Kirrae Health Service, 9am to 11am; Winda Mara Co-op Heywood, 4.30pm to 6pm
  • Thursday: Gunditjmara Community Centre, Harris Street Reserve, noon to 2pm; Winda Mara Co-op Hamilton, 3.30pm to 5.30pm
  • Friday: Winda Mara Co-op Heywood, 3pm to 5pm, Dhauward-Wurrong Elderly and Community Service, Portland, 10am to noon